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Social Services    
For more information on Riverside’s efforts to provide efficient, effective, and comprehensive delivery of food, clothing, and support services to persons in need, please call Debra Northern, Minister of Parish Care, at: 212.870.6741.

As a Christian community, the Social Service Ministry of The Riverside Church endeavors to provide access to comprehensive social services for those in economic and social crisis. We seek to enable people in need within our community to more fully support and nurture themselves and their families so that they can move out of poverty. We further support action that leads to a healthy and caring society, free of the oppression of poverty in its various forms.

People who visit the Social Services programs may receive referrals to job training programs and employment agencies or to other services. The Riverside Church helps clients in need of public assistance, food stamps and Medicaid through information and referrals.

The supermarket style Food Pantry distributes food Tuesday through Friday from 10:00am to 1:30pm. The pantry is staffed largely with 10-12 volunteers a week who work interviewing clients for eligibility, escorting them as they shop and stocking shelves. Referrals are required.

Every Mondays and Tuesdays from 1:00pm to 4:00pm for 6 weeks, participants are trained in barbering skills. Free haircuts are avalable to the community. Application for Licensing is completed after graduation. Calendar is posted on Bulletin Board.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:00am to 1:00pm, general clothing distribution takes place at the Food Pantry, as it is available. Professional clothing suitable for job interviews is available by appointment only. Walk-ins cannot be serviced. Clients with specific needs may call to speak with clothing ministry staff or volunteers. Referrals are helpful but not required.

Open every Tuesday and Friday to accommodate the first 25 people from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., the Shower Project is designed to meet the needs of the sheltered and unsheltered homeless men and women in need of a shower and clean clothing in New York City. Each guest receives a care basket filled with soap, shampoo, conditioner, towels, and other essentials. Twenty minutes is allotted to each guest to enjoy a hot shower while their clothing is laundered. Volunteers and social services staff provide referrals for additional services to shelters, soup kitchens, medical facilities, counseling, advocacy and employment. Free hair cuts may also be available according to the Barber Training Program schedule.

Staff and volunteers provide information and referrals. Information about the various Riverside Church programs and events are available. Representatives from various community-based organizations are invited to provide information about their services including high blood pressure and cholesterol screening.